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Full text of "The Union as it is, and the Constitution as our fathers made it : speech of Hon. Mason W. Tappan, of N.H. : delivered in the House of Representatives, U.S., February 5, 1861"

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Delivered in the House of Representatives, U. S., February 6, 1861. 

The House having under consideration the 
report from the select committee of thirty-three, 

Mr. TAPPAN said : 

Mr. Speaker : As one of the members of the 
committee of thirty-three, I joined with the gen- 
tleman from Wisconsin [Mr. Washburn] in 
submitting a minority report, and in recom- 
mending the following resolution for the con- 
sideration of the House : 

" Resolved, That the provisions of the Con- 
' stitution are ample for the preservation of the 
' Union, and the protection of all the material 
* interests of the country ; that it needs to be 
' obeyed rather than amended ; and that extri- 
' cation from present difficulties should be look- 
1 ed for in efforts to preserve and protect the 
' public property, and in the enforcement of the 
' laws, rather than in new guarantees for par- 
' ticular interests, or compromises and conces- 
' sions to unreasonable demands." 

And I desire now, very briefly, to submit my 
reasons why I could not concur in the report of 
the majority, and in support of my belief that 
the passage of this resolution is all the action 
the House ought to take in regard to the pres- 
ent crisis in our national affairs. 

Sir, I was one of the very few members of 
this body who voted against the raising of this 
committee at the outset. I did so, not because 
I did not fully understand and appreciate the 
perilous condition of the country ; not because, 
at the proper time, I would be unwilling to make 
any reasonable concessions, not involving the 
sacrifice of principle, to any portion of my coun- 
trymen who might present grievances to be re- 
dressed ; but because, in the first place, I be- 
lieved that the appointment of such a commit- 
tee would be the initiative step towards some 
sort of a "compromise," when any compromise, 
under the peculiar circumstances that surround- 
ed us, would be degrading and humiliating to 

the North; and, secondly, such was the "mad- 
ness that ruled the hour" in the Southern por- 
tion of the country, I did not believe that any 
measures we should be able to pass would be 
productive of any good ; and the attempt to 
make compromises that might fail would only 
add fuel to the flame. And, as events have 
rolled on, every hour has only confirmed me in 
the correctness of my convictions then. I be- 
lieved then, as I believe now, that the furor at 
the South had taken the form of an epidemic, 
and, like a raging fever in the human system, 
it must have its run. In such cases, if the cou- 
stituion of the patient is strong enough to grap- 
ple with the disease, he will live ; and if not, iu 
spite of all the nostrums that may be adminis- 
tered by quacks around the bedside, he will die. 
And so with this epidemic in the national sys- 
tem. If the Constitution of the country has not 
strength enough to carry the nation through 
this crisis, no prescriptions that this Congress 
can apply will be likely to effect a cure. 

But, sir, I have faith in the patriotism of the 
great mass of the people. I have faith in the 
Constitution. It is apparently weak now, and 
the demon of a treacherous disease seems to be 
running riot throughout its whole frame-work. 
But it is strong, nevertheless ; and in the end 
will put forth its power, and the country will 
rise from its prostration healthier and more vig- 
orous than ever before. 

Mr. Speaker, if I am mistaken in the result 
that is now to follow from the present condition 
of public affairs, I am sure that I cannot be 
mistaken that such would have been the result 
if a square, bold, and manly issue had been 
made up at the outset for the Union and the 
preservation of the Government. That portion 
of the American people who had just succeed- 
ed in electing their President, in the mode an 3 
forms recognised by the Constitution, had dont 

nothing that required apology, nothing that 
th ■)' ought to take back. I, for one, did not 
go into that election to have the principles for 
which I contended given up and abandoned at 
the i'i'-i howl of those who were disappointed 
at the result. The Republicans nominated a 
. conservative, and honest man, and 
placed him upon a moderate, conservative, and 
patriotic platform of principles — principles that 
embraced eveiy portion of the Union, and 
protected every material interest of this great 
Confederacy, and which iu no wise conflicted 
with the fundamental law of the land. 

It will scarcely be contended, even* by the 
opponents of the Republican party, that there 
was no necessity for a change of administra- 
tion. Every avenue of the Government reeked 
with fraud ; peculation and corruption prevail- 
*d in every department, until it culminated at 
last in one of the most stupendous rob- 
beries that ever astonished the American peo- 
ple: all going to show that the change did not 
come a moment too soon. 

Other parties went into the election, as well 
as the Republicans, with their respective dec- 
larations of principles : and it was the duty of 
every good citizeu, of whatever party, to abide 
peacefully by the result. If the Republicans 
had been beaten, they would cheerfully have 
done so; for they are Union-loving, law-abid- 
ing citizens. But no sooner was the election 
of Mr. Lincoln definitely ascertained, than the 
tires of revolution broke out at Charleston, and 
in other portions of the cotton States. With- 
out just cause, without allowing time even for 
parley, without waiting to see if a friendly un- 
derstanding could not be brought about, with 
indecent haste, the disunionists of the country, 
who, by their own confessions, have been plot- 
ing its overthrow for the last thirty years, have 
seized the public property, taken possession of 
the depositories of the public funds, insulted 
•he American flag, and, with jeers at the Gov- 
ernment which has protected them so long, 
have declared themselves out of the Union. 

Now, sir, under these circumstances, I be- 
lieved, and I still believe, that the first ques- 
ion to be ascertained is, whether we have a 
 Government or not? And I am for postponing 
.ill other questions and all other "compromises'' 
intil this great and vital fact is ascertained. 
\nd I put it to the candor of gentlemen on the 
other side — I ask the gentleman from Illinois 
[Mr. Logax] who has just taken his seat — 
whether, in case they had succeeded in elect- 
ing their candidate upon the platform of sla- 
very '"protection" in the Territories, and Mas- 
sachusetts and New Hampshire, dissatisfied 
with 'the result, had committed the same acts 
which South Carolina and Georgia have com- 
mitted — they would have made haste to get on 
to their knees with an apology ; or if they 
would not rather, in the first place, have taken 
measures to ascertain whether the Government 
of the country had any binding force ? If a de- 

cent self-respect would have prevented them 
from doing this, I may be pafdoned for decli- 
ning to do the same thing. 

Mr. Speaker, if this Government is a mere cob- 
web, with no power for its own preservation, it 
is utterly useless to try to tinker and patch it up 
by " compromises." If the Union is so utterly 
weak and helpless that the first breath of trea- 
son is sufficient to destroy its vitality, it will be 
good for nothing after it is " saved," and the 
time spent in trying to save it will be worse than 
thrown away. So believing, Mr. Speaker, I was 
for narrowing the issue as soon as possible to 
the question of Union or no Union, Government 
or no Government, and ascertaining who was for 
the Government and who against it. And I 
solemnly believe, if the entire mass of the Re- 
publican party, in Congress and out, had, from 
the start, boldly maintained this position, instead 
of frittering away the time in feeble attempts at 
" compromising " what cannot be compro- 
mised — in half apologizing for having had the 
temerity to elect their President — we should 
have stood stronger to-day ; the crisis would be- 
fore now have been passed, and the revolution 
stayed. We would, by that course, have pre- 
sented an issue around which the moderate, 
patriotic men in the border slave States — who 
know that the charges against the Republicans 
of designing to interfere with any of their con- 
stitutional rights are false — could have rallied, 
and, standing with us on the common platform 
of the Constitution and the Union, the flood of 
secession which now threatens to overwhelm 
them would have been rolled back. The elo- 
quent and patriotic speeches of the gentleman 
from Texas, [Mr. Hamilton,] and of the gen- 
tleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Stokes,] but a 
day or two since, and other speeches of like 
tone, from gentlemen of the border States, un- 
mistakably indicate that such would have been 
the case if the right stand had been taken at 
first. I hope it is not too late now. Firmness 
on the part of the Executive, and firmness and 
courage on the part of the people of the free 
States, is, in my judgment, the best antidote for 
the insanity that prevails at the South, and the 
best remedy to avert the horrors of a civil war. 
Every time the people of the free States have 
wavered ; every time her Representatives have 
evinced a disposition to fall back one step from 
their position, the secessionists, with fiercer 
yells, have advanced two. And so it will be to 
the end. If we compromise to-day, we will be 
required to yield more to-morrow ; and when 
the North is sufficiently humiliated, there will 
be no difficulty, I apprehend, in "reconstruct- 
ing " the Government so as to place it in the 
hands of the slave power forever. Sir, I am 
for making a stand somewhere ; and I prefer to 
make it before I start to run at all. 

Mr. Speaker, as much as I detest the treason 
of South Carolina, there is an audacity in her 
mode of doing things that almost compels my 
respect. She does not attempt to disguise her 

long and deep-seated hatred to the Union, and 
she makes no scruples at turning her guns upon 
the glorious flag of her country. She flings de- 
fiance at us in every form. I would to God that 
somebody, somewhere, who had authority to 
speak for the Government, would exhibit half 
the zeal for the Union that South Carolina does 
against it! 

But it is said that some sort of a compromise 
is necessary in order to keep the border slave 
States from joining in the secession movement. 
Sir, if the security and prosperity these States 
now enjoy by means of the Union ; if the ex- 
posed position they would occupy should it be 
dissolved, and the utter ruin and disaster which 
such an event would bring on them, whatever 
might be its effects in other parts of the coun- 
try ; if the patriotic memories of the past, and 
$e love of the Constitution and " Union as it 
is," which most of these States have been sup- 
posed particularly to cherish ; if a better knowl- 
edge of the people of the free States than pre- 
vails further South, and of the falsity of the 
charges brought against them ; if all this is not 
sufficient to cause them to pause before they 
take the fatal step which shall sever their con- 
nection with a Government that has covered 
them with blessings, it will be in vain to think 
of placating them with any half measures that 
we can adopt. 

What guaranty have we, Mr. Speaker, that 
the border States will be satisfied with the prop- 
ositions reported by the majority of the com- 
mittee of thirty-three? What assurances have 
we that any terms of settlement, short of the 
recognition and protection by the General Gov- 
ernment of slavery in the territory that we now 
possess or may hereafter acquire south of 36° 
30 / , will be acceptable to them ? The honor- 
able gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Nelsox,] 
whose opinions I greatly respect, and whose 
character and patriotism command my admira- 
tion, while disposed to look favorably upon the 
proposition to amend the Constitution prohibit- 
ing the interference with slavery in the States, 
is opposed to admitting New Mexico as a State, 
and gives many and cogent reasons why it 
would not be accepted by his State, and show- 
ing also that it would probably be productive 
of more harm than good. 

But, Mr. Speaker, suppose that the measures 
proposed by the committee, or some others short 
of the ultimatum laid down by the cotton States, 
of slavery protection in all future acquisitions, 
would be received by the border States, or most 
of them, as a final settlement of the slavery ques- 
tion : what then ? The question still remains, 
what is to be done with the seceding States ? 
The question still remains, whether we have a 
Government or not, capable of maintaining the 
integrity of the Union ? The question would 
still press itself upon us, whether a single State, 
or half a dozen States combined, eould, by their 
rebellious action, destroy the unity and nation- 
ality of the Government? And these vital 

questions, as I have said, I am for meeting in 
limine. Not by raising armies and marchii 
them to the South, as the gentleman from 111: 
nois [Mr. Logax] seems to suppose, to lay the 
country waste by fire and sword, in order to 
" coerce " them into the Union ; but by firmly 
adhering to the Constitution of the country, and 
enforcing obedience to the laws by all the power 
of the Government. And before I consent to 
concessions, even for the conciliation of the bor- 
der States, I desire to know where they will be 
found on this great question of maintaining the 
laws of the Union ? 

Sir, this country presents a most melancholy 
and humiliating spectacle before the nations of 
the earth. A great nation of thirty million 
people, ranked as one of the first-class Powers 
of the world, at the first dawn of treason in its 
borders retires ingloriously before it, and to- 
day is seen crumbling to pieces, without an ef- 
fort being made to maintain its integrity, or a 
finger raised to defend the honor of its flag. 
In all the tide of time the world never witnessed 
so cowardly an exhibition. 

Now, sir, I desire to inquire what would be 
the effect of such a policy as I have indicated? 
I would defend this capital at all hazard, and 
protect the public property. I would collect 
the revenue in the ports of every seceding 
State, either on the land or on the sea — or I 
would repeal the laws making them ports of 
entry. Does it follow that this would result in 
a general civil war? Not at all. The Govern- 
ment would be clearly in the right, and every 
arm raised against it would be clearly in the 
wrong. Every act of the Government would 
be strictly on the defensive, while every blow 
struck against it would be the act of an ag- 
gressor upon its rights. The Government would 
be defending the priceless inheritance of liberty, 
which our fathers bequeathed to us at the ex- 
pense of so much blood and treasure, while its 
enemies would be fighting for its overthrow, 
because they have been deprived of political 
power by the constitutional fiat of the people. 
The sympathies of every Government on the 
earth would be on the side of the constituted 
authorities of the United States; and the pray- 
ers of every friend of constitutional liberty, 
whether in the Old World or the New, would 
ascend to the throne of Jehovah, that this Gov- 
ernment, founded in the principles of human 
freedom and the rights cf man, might not be 
destroyed by the enemies of both.. 

But, under such a policy, who are the rebels 
to fight? If they had ships, and could man 
them, they might at'ack the'vessels blockading 
their harbors. But the contest will be unequal. 
Will they raise armies tp invade the loyal 
States? This is an " entertainment" to which 
they would hardly " invite " themselves. 

Sir, I will indulge in no threats of what would 
be the result in such an event. I will make 
no boasts of the prowess of any particular sec- 
tion of the country. I desire to say no word 


tjbnl ran exasperate or inflame, but simply to 
plant myself on the side of my country, and 
the integrity of its Government, whose Consti- 
tution 1 have sworn to support. I deprecate a 
war in which brother shall be arrayed against 
brother, and kindred against kindred ; and I 
pray that God may avert such a calamity from 
this land ! Nevertheless, wisely, but firmly, I 
would have the Government make a trial, at 
least, for its own protection, that it might not 
be a scoff and by-word among the nations. 
And then, if it shall be found to be the weak 
and impotent thing which its enemies imagine 
it to be, then it will be time enough to talk 
about " compromises," and a division of the 
country into two confederacies. For one, I do 
net care to live under a Government which is 
so feeble as to excite only the contempt of man- 
kind, and which exists merely at the sufferance 
of those who may at any moment conspire for 
its overthrow, in spite of all the concessions we 
may now make. And I repeat, that I desire, 
first, to know whether we have a Government 
or not ; whether we have a country to love and 

Mr. Speaker, I know the anxiety that is felt 
by every true friend of his country in such a 
fearful crisis as the present. I know the feel- 
ing that is uppermost in many a patriotic heart, 
to try and "do something" to avert the great 
calamity which seems impending. But what 
can we do? There are some things that the 
North might do without dishonor. And al- 
though 1 cannot support the measures recom- 
mended by the committee, because I think they 
involve a surrender of principle ; yet, if the 
South .should tender the restoration of the Mis- 
souri compromise simply as it was before " ruth- 
less hands " wrenched it from its place, where 
it had given peace to the country for over 
thirty years, and the reckless repeal of which 
has been one great cause of all our woes, the 
North, f think, would be bound to take it fairly 
into consideration. 

.Much stress is laid on the personal liberty 
laws, and they are blazoned to the world as the 
preto nded cause of all our difficulties ; and the 
President himself, in his annual message, treat- 
ed them as the great act of wrong on the part 
of the North, justifying, if not repealed, a dis- 
solution of the Union. And yet, when, in the 
committee of thirty-three, we first set ourselves 
to the task of correcting this grievance, as far 
h« possible, we were told by Southern gentlemen 
that it was useless to spend time on such tri- 
fling matters, and that it did not reach the seat 
of the disease. No, Mr. Speaker; it does not 
r^ach the seat of the disease. The seat of the 
disease is the lost prestiye of political power; 
it is the lust of dominion on the part of those 
who have administered the Government so long, 
that they think they have an indefeasible right 
to control its destinies forever. 

And because the free States, in consequence 

tl.e thrift, enterprise, and progress, which free- 

labor institutions impart to a community, have 
acquired the numerical majority in the councils 
of the nation, and decline to use it to extend, 
" protect," foster, and nationalize the system 
of slavery, the Union is to be destroyed and 
the Constitution trampled under foot 1 Nor, sir, 
is the settlement of this question, so far as our 
present territory is concerned, of any particu- 
lar consequence to those who have " precipita- 
ted this revolution." Days were spent in com- 
mittee, endeavoring to contrive some way to 
settle the status of slavery in territory which 
we do not now possess ! 

And the proposition for adjustment which 
has been talked of most, and which, it is said, 
would probably be acceptable to most of the 
Southern States — that of the distinguished Sen- 
ator from Kentucky, [Mr. Chittenden,] pro- 
vides for the recognition and " protection " of 
slavery in all territory " hereafter acquired " 
south of 36° 30'. Sir, this is a premium offer- 
ed to filibustering, and aggressive inroads upon 
friendly Powers, for the purpose of " making 
room " for the spread of slavery. It is the 
adoption into the Constitution of the creed of 
the ultra portion of the Democratic party, who 
broke up the Charleston Convention because 
the dogma of " protection " to slavery was not 
inserted in the Democratic platform. It is the 
arrogant demand of the revolutionists of the 
country — who, if the conservative, Union sen- 
timent of that section could find expression, are 
in a meager minority, even in the Southern 
States — not only to all those who voted for 
Lincoln, but to those who voted for Douglas, 
and most of those who voted for Bell, to sur- 
render their convictions and principles, on pain 
of breaking up the Confederacy. Sir, this will 
never be done ; and the free States will never 
concede these terms of settlement, let the con- 
sequences be what they may. And I appeal 
to the honest masses of the Democratic party 
in my own State who voted for Mr. Douglas, if 
they are willing, because their opponents rise 
in treason against the Government, to adopt 
the doctrine of constitutional and legislative 
" protection to slavery " in all the Territories 
which may be " hereafter acquired ? " 

Sir, the proposition known as the u border 
States compromise," which is similar to that of 
the gentleman from Illinois, [Mr. Kellogg.] if 
I understand it, is scarcely less objectionable. 
It provides that the Constitution shall be so 
amended that, iu all the territory south of 36° 
30', neither Congress nor the people of the 
Territory shall ever interfere with or prohibit 
slavery. What sort of a proposition is this to 
those who hold that the people shall be left 
" perfectly free to form and regulate their own 
domestic institutions in their own way?" Sir, 
by this measure, although nine-tenths of the 
people might be opposed to the introduction of 
slavery, the other tenth could force it into the 
Territory, and compel it to come into the Union 
as a slave State. This is as effectually " pro- 

tection to slavery" as though it were provided 
for in express terms. It is only another way 
of reaching the same result. 

Sir, the Union is dear to the people of the 
Northern States ; they would sacrifice much to 
preserve it as it is ; but a Union founded on 
the protection of slavery, as its " chief corner- 
stone," is not the Union for which our fathers 
fought, and is not the precious boon which they 
supposed they had transmitted to their posteri- 
ty. If the only terms upon which the Union 
can be preserved are, that the General Govern- 
ment, by constitutional provision and Con- 
gressional enactment, shall, through all time, 
wherever the adventurous spirit of our people 
shall plant, the American banner, be pledged 
to the protection of an institution condemned 
by the whole civilized world, outside of the 
slave States — an institution which Mr. Hunter, 
in his speech at Charlottesville, in August last, 
said that " Southern men themselves, with but 
few exeptions, admitted to be a moral evil," 
not twenty years ago — then, indeed, will the 
North begin to " calculate the value" of such 
a Union. 

Mr. Speaker, I will consider, briefly, the par- 
ticular propositions reported by the majority of 
the committee. 

In addition to the reasons already given, I 
am opposed to the proposed amendment to the 
Constitution, providing against future amend- 
ments to that instrument, touching slavery in 
the States, not because I have any wish myself, 
or because I know of a single Republican any- 
where who wishes or believes he has any right 
to interfere with slavery in the States, but be 
cause there is no need of such an amendment. 
I am opposed to any alteration of the Constitu- 
tion unless upon the most urgent necessity ; 
and then, never at the demand of those, or to 
placate those who are in actual rebellion against 
it. The Republican party, in their platform of 
principles, are solemnly pledged against any 
such interference, or the belief in any right to 
interfere with slavery in the States. But I am 
further opposed to the amendment, because, as 
has been so well shown by the honorable chair- 
man of the committee, it is morally impossible 
that slavery in the States should ever be inter- 
fered with by any amendment to the Constitu- 
tion. With no more slave States than exist to- 
day, there must be. forty -five free States before 
any such amendment can receive the sanction 
of three-fourths of all the States. And, lastly, 
I am opposed to it because it gives to slavery 
new and additional guaranties, which the illus- 
trious iramers of the Constitution did not think 
necessary to insert in that instrument. They 
were careful to exclude from the Constitution 
the very word " slave ;" and they regarded sla- 
very as an institution which was inconsistent 
with the great ideas upon which the Govern- 
ment was based, and which, at a period not 
very remote, would gradually be done away. I 
amjberefore unwilling to go further than they 

went, in giving it constitutional sanction, espe- 
cially as the workings of the system do not par- 
ticularly commend it to the enlightened civili- 
zation and Christianity of the age. What the 
Constitution gives it, I will give — no more, no 

Nor can I admit the force of the appeal that, 
because the people of the South have been made 
to believe the falsehoods circulated there 
against the Republican party, we must make 
concessions that otherwise would be improper, 
in order to appease their fury. Because the 
leaders of the Breckinridge Democracy have 
made the people of the South believe that Mr. 
Hamlin is a mulatto, that Lincoln is in favor 
of having the white people intermarry with the 
negroes, and that the Republicans are to invade 
their States with armies of "Wide Awakes," and 
set their slaves all free, I shall not consent to 
change the fundamental law of the land, and 
thereby virtually admit the charges to be true. 
Many of the Southern people are evidently in 
that condition of mind where they "see men as 
trees walking." They would not now believe 
it, even if every Republican should vote in 
favor of this proposition. I prefer to wait till 
the 4< madness" passes away, and then see if we 
cannot " reason together." If that time never 
comes, it will not be my fault, nor the fault of 
the Republican party. 

Sir, I cannot sympathize with the argument 
of those who attempt to draw a parallel between 
the present condition of affairs in some of the 
Southern States and the revolt of the colonies 
against the Government of Great Britain. I 
would not dignify the causeless rebellion which 
now exists among a portion of the slaveholding 
people of the country, so as to elevate it along- 
side of the great American Revolution, which 
will forever stand foi'th as one of the most sub- 
lime epochs in the history of the world. If, 
every time a discontented minority, after having 
participated in an election, shall refuse to ac- 
quiesce in the constitutional result, and threaten 
to pull down the pillars of the Government, we 
treat them in the same way that Burke advised 
towards the American colonies, how long will 
it be before the great fundamental principle on 
which this Government rests, to wit, that the 
majority shall rule, would be trampled under 
foot and the Government destroyed ? 

I do not propose, Mr. Speaker, to go into a 
detailed statement of all the reasons which 
operate on my mind against the admission of 
New Mexico as a State. These are fully set 
forth in the report which I signed in conjunc- 
tion with the gentleman from Wisconsin, [Mr. 
Washburn.] It would be a sufficient reason 
for voting against it, that, as a measure of peace 
to those for whom it is intended, it will fail to 
be satisfactory. If it fails to be acceptable to 
the gentleman from Tennessee, moderate and 
conservative as he is, I do not think it will com- 
mend itself to the people of his State, or those 
of the other border States. But, my chief ob- 


jection to it is, that it virtually surrenders (al- 
though covered up under specious disguises) 
the entire position of the Republican party in 
reference to the exteusion of slavery into free 
territory. When New Mexico was acquired, 
it was free territory. Since then, through in- 
fluences from this capital, and at the instiga- 
tion of prominent Southern men, slavery has 
been established there, by the enactment of a 
barbarous code, disgraceful to the civilization 
of the age. 

By the organic act of the Territory, Congress 
has the reserved right to annul these laws, and 
at the last session a bill to that effect passed 
this House, but failed in the Senate. By now 
admitting her into the Union, on an equal foot 
ing with the other States, we, in effect, approve 
this barbarous legislation, sanction the proceed- 
ings which forced slavery into the Territory, 
and bring her into the Union as a slave State. 

But it is said by some of those who advocate 
this measure, that it will be a free State. If this 
is so, then it is no concession to the slavehold- 
ing States ; and it is absurd to suppose that se- 
cession is to be prevented by the admission of 
another free State. No ; if it comes in at all, 
it comes as a slave State, carved out of territory 
that is free, or which it is the duty of Congress 
to make free. The same influences that estab- 
lished slavery there will also cause it to remain. 
It is true there never may be but few slaves ; 
but still, to all intents and purposes, it will be 
a slave State. To this I cannot conse'it ; and 
I only reiterate the language of Mr. Clay, in 
one of the last speeches he ever made, when I 
declare that " no earthly power can compel me 
to vote for the extension of slavery over terri- 
tory that is now free ! " 

There are other and all-sufficient reasons, 
outside of the slavery question, why New Mex- 
ico ought not to be admitted as a State. Her 
system of peonage, or u white slavery ;" the pau- 
city of her white inhabitants ; the mongrel char- 
acter of the mass of her people, and their entire 
unfitness to be incorporated into the Union, 
having equal weight at the other end of the 
Capitol, and upon equal footing in all respects 
with the old States, are enough of themselves 
to deter me from voting for this measure. Add- 
ed to this, is the fact that the people of New 
Mexico do not ask to be admitted into the 
Uniou as a State, but are understood to be op- 
posed to it. Her people have never paid any 
taxes, and, it is said, cannot be made to do so 
for any purpose whatever. So that, if she is 
admitted into the Union, we shall be compelled 
to make appropriations to defray the expenses 
of her State Government out of the national 
Treasury — thus forcing a slave State into the 
Union against her will, and footing her bills 
after we get her in ! 

And now, sir, I have said all that I propose 
to say on these questions. If this Union is to 
be broken up, it will have been done by the fa- 
naticism of slavery propagandism, and the 

vaulting ambition of political leaders, who, to 
do its bidding in 1854, by the breaking down 
of a time-honored compromise, let loose upon 
the land the fearful agitation which has rocked 
it, as with a tempest, from that hour to this. 
But, if such is to be our fate, the "Government 
of the United States of America" will still ex- 
ist, with a territory and people teeming with all 
the elements of greatness and of freedom, of 
unsurpassed progress, and of future glory. If 
that time shall speedily come, then I say : 

" Let iif props the golden cluster on our bravo old flag 
In closer union ; and, if numbering less, 
Brighter shall shine tho stars that still remain." 

But, Mr. Speaker, I will not look beyond the 
present Union to see what is behind the vail 
that divides us from the future. I have no de- 
sire to do so. 

The State I have the honor, in part, to rep- 
resent on this floor, is small in area, but she 
yields to none in patriotic attachment to the 
Union and the Constitution ; and I believe the 
united voice of her people, irrespective of party, 
is for the u Union as it is," and the Constitu- 
tion as our fathers made it. While her people 
will faithfully respect all the rights guarantied 
by that Constitution to the people of the South, 
they wi'l not consent to the formation of a new 
Constitution, giving to slavery new and addi- 
tional guarantees, which those who originally 
framed it refused to grant. 

It is a mistake to suppose that New Hamp- 
shire has any laws upon her statute-book which 
are in conflict with the Constitution touching 
the rendition of fugitive slaves. But when her 
personal liberty bill was in force, if any State, 
feeling aggrieved by such legislation, had come 
to her in the spirit of kindness and conciliation, 
there never has been a time when she would 
not have been met in a like spirit, and every 
grievance complained of would have been 
cheerfully redressed. But she understands 
what is due to her own dignity, and will yield 
nothing to menaces or threats of a dissolution 
of the Union. 

I have said, Mr. Speaker, that the people of 
New Hampshire are attached to this Union. 
Her patriot sires did much to achieve its glori- 
ous blessings, and their sons, not less patriotic, 
will peril their lives in its defence. New Hamp- 
shire was the ninth State — the last one requir- 
ed to complete the formation of the Union, and 
she will be the last to desert it in its hour of 
peril. Her people understand their own duties 
and relations to the General Government, and 
they understand, too, the duties and relations 
of the people of her sister States to that same 
Government. State Legislatures and Conven- 
tions may resolve themselves out of the Union ; 
but the Uuion nevertheless stands. And, even 
if the Union is nothing more than a compact 
between the different States, the people of no 
State can be absolved from their allegiance to 
the United States until the bond of union be- 
tween them shall be^dissolved by the consent 

of all the States who were originally parties to 
the compact. I do not, then, misstate the sen- 
timents of her people when I proclaim that, as 
one of the loyal and patriotic States of the Con- 
federacy, whenever the people of any other 
State shall, from whatever cause, trample down 
and violate the laws of the Union, the motto of 
New Hampshire will be, " The Constitution, 
the Union, and the enforcement of the laws ! " 
If the maintenance of this doctrine shall result 
in strife and bloodshed, the responsibility must 
rest with those who provoked the conflict. 
There can be no Union unless the laws of the 
Union are enforced. There can be no Govern- 
ment unless that Government puts forth efforts 
to have its own authority respected. And when 
the hour of trial comes, and patriotic hearts 
are necessary to maintain and defend the in- 
tegrity of the Uuion, the people of my gallant 
State will respond promptly to the call of pa- 
triotism, and whether from foes without or foes 
within, will defend to the last her country's 
flag. They will, as one man, adopt the recent 
language of one of her most gifted poets — 

" By the many hopes the living cherish ; 
By our faith in freedom's sacred trust ; 
By the patriot names that cannot perish ; 

By the soil made dear by Langdon's dust ; 
By the deeds of Stark, enshrined in story ; 

By the voices speaking from the past ; 
By our priceless heritage of glory, 
We'll defend the Union to the last ! " 
But I do not apprehend any serious collision. 
I do not believe that this land is to be drenched 
in the blood of fratricidal strife. Unless some 
mad attempt should be made upon this capi- 
tal — which will never be yielded to the ene- 
mies of the present Government, let the cost to 

save or retake it be ever so great — I believe in 
the final peaceful solution of all our difficulties. 
I do not believe it will be accomplished, how- 
ever, by any unmanly yielding, or any humilia- 
ting concessions on either side ; but from the 
returning reason and sense of justice of the 
great mass of the people in the Southern States, 
now misguided and led astray by the falsehoods 
and machinations of political leaders, who have 
fomented thisTebellion to subserve their own 
selfish and ambitious ends. 

Let the Administration of Mr. Lincoln once 
come fairly into power ; let it have an oppor- 
tunity to develop its policy as every other Ad- 
ministration has done ; let it maintain a wise, 
but firm and decided course in the enforcement 
of the revenue laws, and the protection of the 
public property, and it will not be long before 
the eyes of the people of the seceding States 
will be opened, not merely as to the real aims 
and position of the Republican party, but also 
to the ruinous policy which they have been 
made to pursue. Then will come the time 
when the conservative, patriotic men of those 
States, who are now submerged by this revolu- 
tionary tide, can and will be heard. And, 
then, when the olive branch shall be tendered 
by the people of the North ; when the mutual 
misunderstandings are done away, the people 
of the South will return to their allegiance to 
the Government that has protected them so long 
and so well ; peace and harmony will once more 
be restored ; and the glorious old stars and 
stripes will still float in the breezes of heaven, 
the banner of a common country.